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After Arrival: Orientation and Transition

All new students are required to check-in with the Cranwell International Center upon their arrival. Many of you will need to obtain a Social Security Number to begin working on campus. These tasks require submitting e-forms through the IntlHokies Portal.


Completing the Required Immigration Check-In

All new international students must complete a mandatory immigration check-in process after arrival to the US and/or campus by submitting the Immigration Check-In e-form through the IntlHokies Portal. Your SEVIS record will be activated only after you complete this mandatory check-in. Failure to check in may result in the de-activation/cancellation of your SEVIS record and could mean you are no longer able to legally stay in the U.S.

Before you open the e-form to start the Immigration Check-In, collect the following information:

  • Visa with most recent entry stamp, if you received one.
  • Form I-94 OR Form I-797/I-94 Approval Notice
  • Copy of the URL of your Badge for Completing the Pre-Arrival Immigration Orientation Modules on Canvas

Follow these steps to complete the check-in.

  • Login to the IntlHokies portal using your Virginia Tech PID and password and completing the dual authentication process.
  • On the lefthand navigation, select the Immigration Check-In hyperlink.
  • In the Tasks window that opens, select the appropriate option that appears for you:
    • Immigration Check-In for F-1 students; OR 
    • Immigration Check-In for J-1 students.
  • Enter all required information, upload required documents, and copy and paste the URL to your Canvas pre-arrival orientation modules badge into the appropriate field.
  • Check the box in the Confirmation section, reading the fine print carefully.
  • Click Submit. 

SSN Information

If you have secured authorized on-campus employment in the form of an assistantship or wage position, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). Before you can go to the Social Security Administrative (SSA) office to apply, you will need to thoroughly review the detailed instructions below.

For more information about obtaining a Social Security Number while on F-1 visa status, start by reviewing our Obtaining a Social Security Number Page.

Follow these steps to complete the check-in.

  • Login to the IntlHokies portal using your Virginia Tech PID and password and completing the dual authentication process.
  • On the lefthand navigation, select the Immigration Check-In hyperlink.
  • In the Tasks window that opens, select the appropriate option that appears for you:
    • Immigration Check-In for F-1 students; OR 
    • Immigration Check-In for J-1 students.
  • Enter all required information, upload required documents, and copy and paste the URL to your Canvas pre-arrival orientation modules badge into the appropriate field.
  • Check the box in the Confirmation section, reading the fine print carefully.
  • Click Submit. 

Next Steps Once You Arrive on Campus

  • Connect to the campus wi-fi. Please familiarize yourself with Virginia Tech's Wi-fi page to learn how to do this. Our wi-fi is called "eduroam." Please visit the Virginia Tech Wireless website.
  • Get your Hokie Passport ("Hokie P"). Go to the Hokie Passport Office. This office is located at the Student Services Building ground floor. When going to get your "Hokie P," bring your passport and know your 9-digit student ID number. To learn more about the Hokie Passport, please visit the Hokie Passport Services pages.
  • Attend all relevant orientation sessions!

New International Student Orientation

Pre-Arrival Orientation:

  • All new international undergraduate students need to complete the Cranwell online Pre-Arrival Immigration Orientation. Students need to watch the videos and obtain 100% on all the quizzes. Information regarding the Pre-Arrival Orientation will be sent from international@vt.edu.

Orientation:

  • New Student and Family Programs (NSFP) coordinates orientation for new undergraduate students including international students. Information regarding mandatory online modules and registration for orientation will be sent from orientation@vt.edu. The detailed orientation schedule will be communicated by NSFP, and viewed on Hokies on Track app once it is updated.

Academic Advising:

  • Academic advising for new international students is coordinated by each college, please look out for emails from your academic college/department. You will meet with your academic advisor and select classes during the advising sessions.

On-campus housing move-in:

  • If you are an international student who has an on-campus Housing contract for Spring 2024, detailed moving information will be communicated by Housing, so please look out for emails from housing@vt.edu.

Pre-Arrival Orientation:

  • All new international graduate students need to complete the Cranwell online Pre-Arrival Immigration Orientation. Students need to watch the videos and obtain 100% on all the quizzes. Information regarding the Pre-Arrival Orientation will be sent from international@vt.edu.

New International Student Graduate Pre-Arrival Webinar:

  • December 7, 10 a.m. EST - Cranwell hosts a virtual session for new international graduate students.
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Off-Campus Housing Webinar Jan 2024.pdf

International Graduate Student Orientation:

  • January 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. - You will learn important information from staff from Cranwell International Center, Graduate School, and multiple campus resources (Payroll, Schiffert Health Center, Medical Insurance, Writing Center etc.) to help you navigate life at Virginia Tech as an international graduate student. Registration is required, registration closes January 6 at noon EST. Register for Spring 2024 Orientation.

Grad School orientation and welcome events:

  • Grad School will offer orientation to all new graduate students, please check their website to see updated information.

Departmental orientation:

  • Each academic department will hold orientation, dates and times vary. Please check with your department to confirm.
  • If there is a time conflict between the international student orientation on January 10, please prioritize your departmental orientation.
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International Graduate Student Pre Arrival Webinar NCR July 12 2023.pdf

On Friday, January 19 from 5-6 p.m., Cranwell will host a welcome session where we will review:

  • Most important things to consider around your status.
  • How to communicate with an advisor when you need.
  • Where to find relevant information about the international student experience.
  • And more...

This session will be at the Northern Virginia Center – we will share a room location closer to time.


Welcome Activities For New International Students

  • Welcome activities for new undergraduate students are organized both through the Cranwell International Center and the Office of New Students and Family Programs in the Division of Student Affairs.
  • CranwellConnect is our monthly email of events organized by the Cranwell International Center. This is an "opt-out" list. By default, all new international students are added to receive these emails.
  • The Office of Student Engagement and Campus Life offers a vibrant, diverse schedule of activities on campus throughout the year, including many at the beginning of each semester welcoming new students. Download the Hokies on Track app to get updates on campus-wide welcome events!
  • Find other ways to enhance your student experience and explore GobblerConnect, the portal for student organizations and student-led events on campus.

The Cranwell International Center partners with the Graduate School at Virginia Tech to support new international graduate students.

  • The Graduate School offers a schedule of programs to help all new graduate students settle in to life on campus.

Special Orientation Graduate Life Center Cafe Hours

When: Friday, January 12, 2024, 4 p.m.

Where: Graduate Life Center Lobby

What: This is a fun, optional, social event. Every Thursday and 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month The Graduate Life Center offers free coffee, tea, cookies, and an opportunity to socialize with other graduate students across campus. This is a special event, designed specifically to welcome new, incoming graduate students!  

How: Just show up!

Kroger Tour

When: Friday, January 19, 2024, 3 p.m.

Where: Meeting place: To Be Announced, but Cranwell and The Graduate School will take vans to the local grocery store, Kroger, on Main Street.

What: This is a fun, optional, social event. Lindsay Barron with The Graduate Life Center and Susie Young with The Cranwell International Center will take international students on a tour of our local grocery store, Kroger. They'll offer advice on local food items, tips on shopping for sales and discounts, and answer any questions about American grocery products.  

How: Sign up to register by clicking HERE.

Tour of The Lyric Theatre

When: Friday, January 26, 2024, 3 p.m.

Where: The Lyric Theatre, 135 College Ave

What: This is a fun, optional, social event. Take some time out of your busy start of classes to explore one of Blacksburg's local landmarks. Students will take a tour of this historic theater, ask questions, and socialize with other graduate students.  

How: Sign up to register by clicking HERE

Grocery Store Bingo

When: Thursday, January 31, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Where: The Graduate Life Center, Room F

What: This is a fun, optional, social event. Learn about The Graduate School and graduate student resources while playing Bingo! Winners will get grocery items to take home.  

How: Sign up to register by clicking HERE.

"What Have I Gotten Myself Into?"

When: Thursday, February 1, 2024, noon-1:30 p.m.

Where: The Graduate Life Center, Room F

What: If you are a graduate student who has asked yourself this question, you are not alone! Meet fellow graduate students to talk about graduate school as an exciting- but possibly overwhelming- life adventure. There will be pizza!  

How: Sign up to register by clicking HERE

Graduate Student Resource Fair

When: Wednesday, February 7, Time: 5:30 p.m.  

Where: The Graduate Life Center Multi-Purpose Room 

What: Get connected on campus with organizations that interest you. This is a great way to make friends, have fun, and build community. Learn what all student groups are doing on campus.  

How: Just show up! The time will be announced closer to the date. Keep your eye on your Cranwell Connect emails and/or The Graduate Life Center website.

Fall 2024 International Student Undergraduate Orientation In-Person Arrival and Orientation Schedule - August 18-20, 2024

Sunday, August 18: Arrival Group 1 - International Students Arriving with Family

  • 10:45 a.m.: Virginia Breeze Bus departs from Dulles Airport
  • TBD: OurBus Private Bus Service, Pick Up at Roanoke Airport
  • 12-10 p.m.: International Student Welcome Center at Harper
  • 3:50 p.m.: Virginia Breeze Bus arrives at VT campus
  • 6 p.m.: Dinner for International Students arriving with Family

Monday, August 19: Arrival Group 2 - International Students Arriving Solo

  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m.: New Undergraduate International Student Orientation for Arrival Group 1, Squires Ballroom
  • 10:45 a.m.: Virginia Breeze Bus departs from Dulles Airport to campus Hourly SmartWay Express Bus from Roanoke Airport to campus
  • 12-10 p.m.: International Student Welcome Center at Harper
  • 2-6 p.m.: Vans to buy necessities at Oasis, Target, banks, cell phone stores
  • 2-5 p.m.: Immunization Clinic: sign up to get required immunizations, Schiffert
  • 3:50 p.m.: Virginia Breeze Bus arrives at VT campus
  • 6 p.m.: Dinner for International Students, Squires Ballroom

Tuesday, August 20

  • 9 a.m.–12 p.m.: New Undergraduate International Student Orientation for Arrival Group 2, Squires Ballroom
  • 12-10 p.m.: International Student Welcome Center at Harper
  • 2-6 p.m.: Vans to buy necessities at Oasis, Target, banks, cell phone stores
  • 2-5 p.m.: Immunization Clinic: sign up to get required immunizations, Schiffert
  • 8-11 p.m.: Global Dance Party, Squires Ballroom (All are welcome!)

Fall 2024 International Student Graduate Orientation In-Person Arrival and Orientation Schedule - August 21, 2024

Wednesday, August 21: All Graduate Students

  • 8-9 a.m.: Coffee and mingling, Graduate Life Center, Multipurpose Room
  • 9 a.m.-12 p.m.: Orientation program, Graduate Life Center, Auditorium